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Fudge #1

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing

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Life with his little brother, Fudge, makes Peter Hatcher feel like a fourth grade nothing. Whether Fudge is throwing a temper tantrum in a shoe store, smearing mashed potatoes on the walls at Hamburger Heaven, or trying to fly, he's never far from trouble. He's an almost three-year-old terror who gets away with everything, and Peter's had it up to here! When Fudge walks off with Dribble, Peter's pet turtle, it's the last straw. Peter has put up with Fudge for too long. Way too long! How can he get his parents to pay attention to him for a change?

144 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published January 1, 1972

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About the author

Judy Blume

221 books10k followers
Judy Blume spent her childhood in Elizabeth, New Jersey, making up stories inside her head. She has spent her adult years in many places doing the same thing, only now she writes her stories down on paper. Adults as well as children will recognize such Blume titles as: Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret; Blubber; Just as Long as We're Together; and the five book series about the irrepressible Fudge. She has also written three novels for adults, Summer Sisters; Smart Women; and Wifey, all of them New York Times bestsellers. More than 80 million copies of her books have been sold, and her work has been translated into thirty-one languages. She receives thousands of letters a year from readers of all ages who share their feelings and concerns with her.
Judy received a B.S. in education from New York University in 1961, which named her a Distinguished Alumna in 1996, the same year the American Library Association honored her with the Margaret A. Edwards Award for Lifetime Achievement. Other recognitions include the Library of Congress Living Legends Award and the 2004 National Book Foundation's Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.
She is the founder and trustee of The Kids Fund, a charitable and educational foundation. She serves on the boards of the Author's Guild; the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators; the Key West Literary Seminar; and the National Coalition Against Censorship.
Judy is a longtime advocate of intellectual freedom. Finding herself at the center of an organized book banning campaign in the 1980's she began to reach out to other writers, as well as teachers and librarians, who were under fire. Since then, she has worked tirelessly with the National Coalition Against Censorship to protect the freedom to read. She is the editor of Places I Never Meant To Be, Original Stories by Censored Writers.
Judy has completed a series of four chapter books -- The Pain & the Great One -- illustrated by New Yorker cartoonist James Stevenson. She has co-written and produced a film adaptation of her book Tiger Eyes, and is currently writing a new novel.
Judy and her husband George Cooper live on islands up and down the east coast. They have three grown children and one grandchild.

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5 stars
58,722 (42%)
4 stars
45,243 (32%)
3 stars
25,771 (18%)
2 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 3,264 reviews
Profile Image for Brina.
903 reviews4 followers
January 3, 2018
I have officially turned the page to 2018 although I am still savoring some of my 2017 reads. This year, I decided to go through each of my challenges one by one, starting with classics bingo. One square this year is read a classic children's book. Admittedly, because I have always been more of a tomboy, I was never enamored with classic books as Little Women and The Secret Garden. Toward the end of last year, I finally got around to reading The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. For a classic children's book, I decided to think outside the box and read one of the books that I enjoyed while growing up. One series I read and laughed over was Fudge by Judy Blume, and, conveniently, we have a copy of Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing at home, so I decided to use this hilarious story of a fourth grade boy and his two year old pest of a brother to check off my bingo square.

Peter Warren Hatcher is nine and in fourth grade, which is how he introduces himself to everyone he meets. He lives in an apartment in New York City's west side with his parents and younger brother Fudge, and is fortunate to have his own room. Yet, other than having space to himself, Peter does not feel very lucky, and that is because Fudge is a terror who ruins everything from a day out with their parents to the simple task of sitting down to eat supper. He has managed to have their mother wrapped around his little finger, which in turn bothers Peter immensely because usually, if not always, Fudge is to blame for all of the incidents that go on in their home. Over the course of a school year, Peter labels himself a fourth grade nothing because nothing happens to him, whereas everything exciting happens to Fudge.

I remember reading this series multiple times growing up because the incidents had me laughing hysterically, no small feat. I do remember enjoying the later books in this series more because the characters got older so their problems became more worldly and less juvenile, even for Fudge. Yet, in this opening book, Fudge still has me in stitches from scenes featuring eating or wearing food, Peter modeling behavior in dentist offices and shoe stores, and Fudge destroying Peter's homework. Fudge is the younger child and therefore cuter and immune to punishment even though both parents know that he needs to be taught how to both behave and respect Peter's property. It seems to me that Fudge only looks up to Peter and the parents can not control him. Whether or not this was done intentionally for a book primarily geared toward children, it left me shaking my head at times as Fudge got away with one antic after another. Even Peter and has parents could do little but laugh at these episodes after the fact.

Judy Blume over the years has been a best selling author of both children and adult books. I found her humor in describing sibling relationships to be on target, yet found it alarming at the way the parents were portrayed in this book. Throughout the book, the parents blamed Peter if Fudge got in to trouble all the while not punishing Fudge for his actions only because he is the younger sibling. When my kids used to watch and read other television shows and books that I used to enjoy, I have noticed this behavior pattern with the parents recurring-- automatically blaming the older child for the actions of the younger siblings without giving thought to the larger picture. Maybe this is indicative of this generation and maybe this is my position as an older sibling, but I thought that Blume could have done a better job in characterizing the parents in a way that made them more fair toward both of their children. Lately, I have been lucky while reading children's books through adult eyes, but in this situation, I thought that I may have over analyzed just a smidgen.

As an elementary school child, I enjoyed reading Judy Blume's books about Peter Hatcher. I found his situation hilarious and sympathized with his position in his family. My children still enjoy this series, and my older two have read this book while in fourth grade. As an adult, I still laughed at some of Fudge's antics and could see why the parents would favor him, but I stopped short thinking that I would never be that parent who allows the younger sibling to control the mood of the house. Another bingo square checked off, although I think a real challenge for me would be to read one of Judy Blume's chick lit books that my tomboyish self never desired to read.

3.5 stars
Profile Image for Idarah.
464 reviews48 followers
June 13, 2022
My brother and I are "Irish Twins", so we were in the same grade throughout our whole school career. He got all of the awesome, tenured teachers, whose students loved them so much that they still continued to visit them well into their middle and high school years; their classrooms had epic decor themes like "under the sea" or "summer fun."

I was a straggler kid, looking in from the outside and always longing for what he had. My assortment of teachers were either (a) fresh out of college and trying experimental forms of teaching (ugh), (b) had extreme chips on their shoulders and were organizing unions to stick it to the man, or (c) filing for divorce. This equated to bare walls and zero pizza parties. The agony!

Worst yet, we didn't read any of the cool books all the other classes were reading! I remember getting sick and tired of hearing of this baby named "Fudge" (of all the crazy names), and all the trouble that he got into, from some friends in other classes.

So now, all these years later, I finally understand what all the hype was about, and for once it wasn't overstated. I LOVED Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing! Peter Hatcher, the 9-year-old protagonist, has a pretty great setup. He lives in New York City, close to Central Park, he's loving his 4th grade class, has nice friends...except his 2-year-old little brother, Fudge, keeps ruining things. He's a the cutest little monster you ever saw.

I would have loved to have read this as a child, especially when my little sister came into the world when I was 8. I didn't like her. She was a cutie, but she just disrupted everything. I felt like no one understood where I was coming from, least of all my parents, who could see no wrong in anything that she did. That's the beauty of this book, because while it is hilarious and cute, it's not patronizing and adult. I love the relationship Peter has with his mom--she's a bit of a sarcastic wit, and I like that.

One thing that made me laugh was when Peter was describing how cautious he had to be about walking in Central Park alone because of muggers and dope pushers. I thought to myself, this is not the NYC of You've Got Mail. This is the NYC of Klute in 1972! I will definitely be continuing with the series, and very soon.

P.S. The Kindle book $2.99 in case you too are late to the game. Wink, wink...
Profile Image for Julie G .
884 reviews2,755 followers
August 19, 2019
I hadn't read this 1972 children's classic since I was a 9-year-old and in the fourth grade myself, so I was pleasantly surprised to discover, this week, while reading it to my fourth grader, that the story was still funny, relatable and worthy of new readership.

It turns out, the angst of suffering siblings is just as potent, and just as irritating as it was in the 1970s. (And, apparently, all other decades). Siblings haven't gotten any better, y'all. They still want to mess with your sh*t, taunt you with their superiority, and lord over you the unspoken, obvious knowledge that your parents prefer them.

This is the story of fourth grader, Peter, (poor Peter!), who just wishes he'd had the opportunity to remain an only child and not the older brother of younger sibling, Farley, who is beloved and known to all by his pet name of Fudge.

Peter and Fudge's struggles as siblings play out in these 10 well-paced chapters, and Judy Blume's famous approachable and concise writing style doesn't fail to deliver.

Most hot topics that bother young kids are handled here: Sibling rivalry, assumed favoritism, playground injuries, dastardly annoying school projects on poster boards, and fathers attempting to cook, and ruin, dinner.

My 7 and 9 year old daughters were riveted throughout our entire read-aloud of this book and never lost interest nor turned away their heads. They giggled and sympathized throughout, at the indignity of suffering a sibling, sharing parents and having a mother who makes you wash your hands before every meal.

The best part for me, as the mother now, was reading aloud the scene from chapter 7, The Flying Train Committee, when little Fudge ruins Peters hard-wrought fourth grade transportation project. Peter flies into a rage, announces to his mother, “I hate him!” and is reduced to frustration and tears, assuming his younger brother will, yet again, get away with destroying his property.

When his mother surprises Peter, by admitting to him, “I spanked him,” Peter is filled with the vindication and joy that only a frustrated sibling can truly feel. His mother, who doesn't believe in spanking, spanked his younger brother for ruining his poster board project? Oh, happy day!

At this declaration of spanking and vindication, my two daughters suddenly burst into devilish smiles, then a long, simultaneous peal of laughter. They both had to sit up, that's how hard they were laughing. They LOVED that the naughty sibling got his just desserts, and they loved it, strangely enough, at the same exact time!

I gotta tell you. . .it was a real Roald Dahl moment.
Profile Image for Tea Jovanović.
Author 410 books674 followers
May 3, 2013
Prva od 5 knjiga iz serijala o Fadžu... Knjiga za decu ali i roditelji će se ludo zabaviti ako je pročitaju... Jedna od onih ludo zabavnih knjiga koje svako dete treba da pročita... Ovaj serijal je, moglo bi se reći, postao već klasik u Americi, a i šire...
Profile Image for Majenta.
294 reviews1,289 followers
June 8, 2016
Read in the 1970s.

Wow--calling it "Fudge #1"--way to reinforce the title sentiment! Nine-year-old fourth-grader Peter Warren Hatcher is feeling like his life got right fudged up almost three years ago with the arrival of a baby brother his parents named Farley Drexel (family names, maybe?) but these days he's known as a turbocharged toddler called "Fudge." When people first see him they think he's so adorable, but he soon shows them there's way more to him! But why does that have to mean that there's nothing more to Peter than being nine and in the fourth grade? His life is brightened by a new pet, and he does have a human best friend to hang with; life would be better if Jimmy were the one who lived in Peter's apartment building, but no, the classmate who does is the insufferable Sheila. Will life with Fudge ever get sweeter, or will it just get crappier?

Thanks for reading.
Profile Image for Debbie.
567 reviews1 follower
December 31, 2008
I read this with my 4th grade class every year and I never get tired of it! Even though published in the 1970's it stands the test of time. I found it funny when I read it at age 10, still funny reading it as an adult to my class, and even funnier now that I have a 3 year old son who could easily double as Fudge Hatcher if they ever made it into a movie. My 12 year old says it was her favorite book she ever read in elementary school and my 8 year old just experienced Fudge for the first time and can't wait to read the other 4 novels. Judy Blume rocks!
Profile Image for Christy.
654 reviews
February 4, 2020
Continuing on my quest to re-read/ listen to some of my most loved childhood favorites. I was surprised to see this was written in the early 70s. I probably read them in the mid 90s. They are just as cute as I remember. I was all about Judy Blume and Beverly Cleary back in the day!
Profile Image for Stefanie.
1,692 reviews60 followers
August 14, 2018
Fudge is fucking awful. This book was just 120 pages of cringe and bad parenting. Not the kind of children's book that can be enjoyed by adults.
Profile Image for Tatevik.
457 reviews90 followers
February 24, 2023
January 2021
After finishing The Ramona Quimby Collection, I knew I have to revisit this one. Ramona and Fudge are inseparable in my mind!

November 2019
Reading for the second time during the same year and still trying not to burst laughing in public while listening to this. Mission impossible.

March 2019
I absolutely loved this!!! I had so much fun. The characters were so vivid and bright. I loved Fudge. l bet he will be more noisy even at Peter's age.
The audio was great! The narrator was so good while telling Fudge's parts. Every time she said "see" I imagined little Fudge standing next to me looking at me with his innocent eyes and not understanding that he did a terrible horrible thing.

By the way, Fudge reminded me of Ramona Quimby.

Imagine Fudge and Ramona together! Kind of Bonnie and Clyde reunion 😂

P.S. I just saw there is more of Fudge. This kid deserves to be in more than one book. Definitely will continue the series!
Profile Image for Pradnya K..
265 reviews99 followers
November 23, 2017
Lovely, cute, adorable, pulling strings of your heart, sweet and innocently joyous! You pick it up and can't let go till you're finished!
It's about A nine year old boy Peter and his innocuous jealousy for his toddler brother, Fudgie. Spinning through cute, little incidents, it takes us through the life and innocent thoughts of Peter. I loved his view of his parents - a mother whom he's always suspicious of that she doesn't love him, and the father whom he finds just. But the keen observation of Blume and the take on smallest incidents from a kid's POV is too awesome.
I wished few illustrations would have worked wonders.

Don't know but recently the childrens books are finding their way to me, all by sheer coincidences and I'm absolutely loving it!
Profile Image for Erik.
24 reviews2 followers
January 15, 2015
I have fond memories of this book. I have a feeling Peter could have certainly benefited (christian or no) from the serenity prayer. Perhaps he'll eventually pick it up at a meeting of Fudgaholics Anonymous.

Blume's humor and ability to speak to deeply-rooted juvenile issues (such as being utterly ignored) keep her firmly planted at the pinnacle of authors writing for young readers. When the mood strikes me and if there's a copy handy I'll read just the last page of this book. I walk away understanding that loss and gain are intertwined and that no matter how messed up life gets, what matters is how one handles life's adversities.
Profile Image for SheriC.
679 reviews34 followers
October 3, 2017
Probably my least favorite of Judy Blume’s children’s books so far. I seem to remember enjoying it as a child, but unlike the Ramona and Beezus and Henry books, it has no charm for me as an adult reader. Peter is cursed with an obnoxious little brother who gets all the attention and ruins everything. Originally written in 1972, the substance of the story doesn’t rise above its dated references and gender stereotypes.

The only other thing I can say is, poor Dribble. He probably wished Peter didn’t have a little brother, either.
Profile Image for Manybooks.
3,126 reviews104 followers
January 12, 2019
One of the first full-length English language children's novels I encountered when our grade four teacher read Judy Blume's Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing aloud to us (in 1976), I have very fond and nostalgic memories of totally commiserating with Peter Warren Hatcher with regard to his often so annoying and extremely spoiled by in particular the mother younger brother Farley Drexel Hatcher (generally known as Fudge). However, while in grade four, I was often (if not even first and foremost) simply frustrated with and indeed also more than once rather furiously angry at Fudge's mother and how basically (at least to and for me) it often seems that she lets Fudge get away with everything, with pretty well no consideration of even mildly disciplining him and that yes indeed Fudge, his wants, his desires (at least according to the narrator, according to his older brother) always seem to be more important, more essential than Peter's, as an older adult, I also do well realise that with Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, Judy Blume is being pretty much realistic showing and depicting that an energetic toddler like Fudge, who seems to be into everything and often gets rather strange ideas, such as for example when he does not want to eat and pretends to be a dog, is for a certainty not always all that easy to even remotely adequately monitor and deal with, and thus, I now do have considerably more of an understanding of and appreciation for the mother (although truth be told, I still do very much think she is generally much too overly permissive with regard to Fudge, and that in particular him destroying Peter's school project and later swallowing his pet turtle Dribble might actually and easily have been avoided altogether if there had been some consistent disciplinary consequences for Fudge's often outrageous behaviours right from the start, not to mention that I also certainly did want to totally box the mother's ears when she asks Sheila Tubman to watch over Fudge and then gets viciously angry at poor and innocent Peter when Sheila is not up to this and Fudge ends top hurting himself, but at least, she later does apologise to Peter, which is something that my own parents would more than likely NEVER have done no matter how wrong they were about something).

Four stars for nostalgia, but rounded down to three stars, as while I still do very much enjoy and appreciate Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, I do admit that I continue to have rather serious issues with how coddling and "oh he is so young" Peter's parents (as well as the grandmother) are with regard to Fudge, how poor Peter is often pretty much considered more than a bit secondary, and yes indeed, how some of the datedness of Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing does now kind of make me shake my head a bit. And for me, the biggest datedness stumbling block with Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing is in fact that Judy Blume and without any authorial criticism of this type of behaviour whatsoever, lets Peter win his pet turtle Dribble at a birthday party, as I cannot even remotely consider it in any way animal-friendly or appropriate to give away live animals as party prizes (for this truly just makes me cringe like mad, as while Peter might well and in fact have been a good and responsible pet owner with Dribble, for Jimmy Fargo's mother to hand out goldfish and a turtle as prizes is at best extremely naive, and to and for me on a personal level quite as bad and as inappropriate as individuals giving someone a live baby chick or a bunny at Easter).
Profile Image for Jerry.
4,641 reviews56 followers
June 19, 2022
All the way back in the mid-to-late 1990s, the Fudge books were among my favorites. While Double Fudge wasn't published yet, I both read and owned multiple copies of the first three books in the series. I even knew what happened at the end of the book before my classmates did thanks to a Random House treasury of humor that contained the final chapter.

So...does it stack up all these years later? In a word: Yes! The familial craziness is reminiscent of a sitcom like Good Luck Charlie or the comic strip Baby Blues. Reading this book now, after seeing my niece and two nephews as babies and toddlers, makes me identify with the Hatchers' struggles...and laugh at them, because they're true.

If you read this as a kid, you should try it again, especially if you're a parent, aunt, or uncle now.
Profile Image for Kevin.
496 reviews83 followers
August 25, 2019
Read to me (us) in 1975-76 over the course of 7th grade english class by one Miss Estelle Gossage who, by my recollection, was 101 years old, unmarried, and had taught not only my mother but also my grandmother. We welcomed the respite from her boot camp like regiment of conjugation, and I remember very little except it was the only time I ever saw Miss Gossage laugh.
Profile Image for Niharika✩ .
104 reviews80 followers
June 20, 2021
“I thought how great it would be if we could trade in Fudge for a nice cocker spaniel.”

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume is the perfect example of an amazing Middle Grade Realistic Fiction. It's a bunch of short Stories- something that cut down a whole star for Pippi Longstocking . Yet I liked it. Why?

Life with his little brother, Fudge, makes Peter Hatcher feel like a fourth-grade nothing. Whether Fudge is throwing a temper tantrum in a shoe store, smearing mashed potatoes on the walls at Hamburger Heaven, or trying to fly, he's never far from trouble. He's an almost three-year-old terror who gets away with everything, and Peter's had it up to here! When Fudge walks off with Dribble, Peter's pet turtle, it's the last straw. Peter has put up with Fudge for too long. Way too long! How can he get his parents to pay attention to him for a change?"

The plot is why. It had a plot! Something Pippi Longstocking didn't. It was relatable and like. . .I felt I was Peter. I have a totally different sibling crisis, yet I felt connected.

I realised a lot can be covered under 'Writing.' Tense, POV, tone, style etc. What struck me most when it comes to this specific book? The tone, and style. Not even the POV or tense, things I usually notice the most. I repeat, tone, and style.
Do you remember how you used to talk in fourth grade? No? Well, then what about how you talk now? Cut out the inappropriate content from that. That's the style; That's the tone.


Pee-tah was how Fudge pronounced 'Peter.' And I found that ridiculously hilarious, so now I'm going to call Peter Pee-tah. He was so annoyed by Fudge- but still put up with him I mean, what else do you do, right? Younger siblings are meant to be ignored, right? NO🙄

Anywaysss, I found his neverending patience with Fudge inspiring, because I have the patience of a piece of cardboard.

Fudge, or Farley was ridiculousness and stupidity combined. Add a lot of annoyance to that and you . . .get. . .FUDGE!


Profile Image for Gigi.
249 reviews12 followers
May 18, 2008
When I first read this book as a kid in grammar school I really enjoyed it. I think I just liked how it went through a kids day. Funny things happen, siblings cause trouble, and life goes on. My sons enjoyed reading it in their free time.

But as an adult rereading it I didn't enjoy it as much. I have read so many other children's books that I liked so much more that this book just kind of fell flat. As a homeschooling mom I won't place it on any literature lists but just as something to be enjoy if the kids choose it.
1,037 reviews116 followers
December 29, 2017
A really easy read about Peter, a boy in grade four, and how his younger brother, Fudge, always seems to be up to something to annoy Peter.
Profile Image for BunTheDestroyer.
433 reviews4 followers
November 15, 2017
I skimmed this book. It was the worst. Not in terms of writing or plot (well maybe some plot) but in terms not being able to read it because i wanted to strangle Fudge’s parents and then Fudge. I felt like Peter did not get a good resolution. I’m sure this book was entertaining back when it was written, but now i just think of parenting. I would hate for a child to read this and get any ideas.
Profile Image for Gail.
1,041 reviews344 followers
January 26, 2023
I have fond memories of one of my favorite elementary school teachers, Mrs. Stapleton, reading this book to us in the third grade. Oh how I loved Peter and Fudge then! Thirty plus years later, and that love is still there: for these characters, of course, but foremost for the brilliant, warm, and humorous mind that created them. (I’ll love you forever, Judy Blume!)

I will say reading Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing now made me cringe at plot points that wouldn’t fly in publishing today: the fat jokes, the casual misogyny of a ‘70s workplace, the ineptitude demonstrated by Peter and Fudge’s father while (gasp!) his wife hems and haws before deciding to leave her family for a weekend to visit her sister and her new baby.

I’m grateful we’ve come a long way in the span of a generation—enough so that, in between scenes that made me and my son laugh out loud as he read this to me, we could have a few frank discussions about why plot points like the ones described above feel progressively out of place in 2023.
Profile Image for Kirsten Aucoin.
Author 3 books2 followers
December 2, 2020
When I read this book as a child, I hated it with a passion. I have not read it for years, so I cannot comment on the writing as I would see it now. However, as a young animal lover, a certain scene in this book disturbed me to the point of randomly crying and feeling like I was going to throw up for months following. My parents got quite concerned, and on multiple occasions I had tried destroying the book or writing an angry letter to the author.

There was no happy ending to this book. You expect some kind of victory, or for the parents to finally acknowledge the issues that occur, but it never comes.

I was not a child who was faint of heart (I watched all of the Lord of the Rings films when I was around six), but this book really impacted me. Given other reviews, it clearly did not bother other people as badly (if at all). Really screwed with me though, so that's my experience.
Profile Image for Daina Chakma.
355 reviews630 followers
August 30, 2017
This book is so fun!
Siblings fight, having a turtle as pet, the way little Fudgie's talk and call his brother Pee-tah everything is amusing!
Dear Peter, you are a wonderful boy and you must know it!

Guessing exact numbers of jelly beans in Mrs Fargo's jar remind me of "Tin Goyenda"! It's exactly the same way Kishore won Rolls Royce car for a whole month!
Profile Image for Greg.
1,109 reviews1,844 followers
October 26, 2007
If I remember right this book was actually better than SF, but it never had the obsession thing attached to it. There is a part in the book where Peter (holy shit, how did I do that, I can't remember character names in books I read last week, but here I am pulling out a character name from a book I read a quarter of a century ago), gets mugged and he says that it's what happens in New York, or something like it's scary but everyone gets mugged so it's no big deal. And this stuck with me for a long time, and I thought that everyone in New York does get mugged. This is kind of a lie, but I think Bernhard Getze (spelling? you know the guy who shot the kids on the subway vigilante style in the 80's.) was in the news a lot, and it just seemed like this fact must be true, and it stuck with me all these years. Why is this important to the book, and why would this make you want to read it or not read it? I don't know, but it's a true story and it shows that this book left a lasting impression on my young malleable mind, and so much of one that I even remembered the character name. So I guess it was a pretty darn good fucking book (wouldn't that be a great blurb on the next paperback edition?)
Profile Image for Steph Su.
949 reviews452 followers
March 7, 2014
There's absolutely a reason why this book continues to be widely read by readers of all ages, even so many decades after its original publication. The narrative voice that Blume gives Peter Hatcher is pitch-perfect, and his complicated feelings toward his naughty little brother will resonate with readers of a similar age. What I find so remarkable is that, rereading this book now, I can regard all the characters and their relationships with one another in a different, albeit no less real, light. In my eyes now, Fudge is no more or less troublesome than a typical toddler; whereas as a young reader I empathized with Peter and felt that he was wronged by all those around him, now I like and understand Peter no less, but I also am beginning to understand where the other characters come from, why they act the way they do. Just simply remarkable, that Judy Blume can write such a book that holds different emotions but equally important meanings for readers of all ages. She is like the Pixar of children's lit.
29 reviews
October 16, 2012
When I came across Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing at the public library I was so excited! I absolutely love Judy Blume books and feel that they really are some of the best books for young readers out there. This book is the first of many in the Fudge Book series that Blume writes. This is the story of Peter who is nine years old. Peter has a ridiculous two and a half year old brother named Fudge who never seems to do anything except annoy Peter. However, to Peter it seems that nothing Fudge ever does is wrong in the eyes of a grown up. Nevertheless, even though Peter has been able to tolerate his brother in the past the straw that finally breaks the camels back is when Peter finds out that Fudge has taken his new pet turtle Dribble. Even though Peter thinks that his parents let Fudge get away with anything he soon learns this is not the case. When Fudge goes through the stage of refusing to eat anything his father one day gets so fed up that he dumps a bowl of cereal on Fudge while he in in the bathtub. This is surprising to Peter due to the fact that he thought his little brother could get away with anything. Throughout the rest of the book we see the trials and tribulations that this fourth grader must go through and how he deals with them.

This book is very heartwarming and I believe that in the end you always want Peter to get the attention he wants from his parents. We have all experienced annoying younger siblings at times or annoying younger children in general. So in some way we can all relate to how Peter fills.

This book would be great for older elementary students as well as younger middle school aged children. Another aspect that I really liked about this book was the illustration on the front. You must look beneath the cover in order to see the illustration but you can see Peter and in the background you can see Fudge running around, wreaking havoc on all things. These illustrations seem to be computer animated but they still give off a great idea of what type of humor you will experience in the book.

I was afraid when I first began reading this book after not reading it in such a long time that I would not like it as much. However, this book is just as great as I first remember it being back when I was in grade school. I hope every child gets a chance to read this Judy Blume classic and that they love it as much as I do.
Profile Image for midnightfaerie.
1,947 reviews122 followers
January 15, 2023
Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume was one of my favorites as a kid and no less enjoyable as an adult, reading it to my 5-yr-old son. Granted, I read it in fourth grade, so I might have understood more, but still, my son was riveted. So much so, that even though the chapters were longer than he was used to, he begged me to keep reading when I was on the last three chapters and we finished it much quicker than anticipated. While I was reading it, I noticed it had an older feel to it, but that's to be expected since it was published in '72. It's still relevant to any child today, especially those with younger siblings.

While reading, I didn't notice, but my husband did, how some of the content might have been better suited for an older child. For example, Peter talks about going to Central Park with Jimmy, his best friend without an adult. Then he goes on to talk about the lesson he got from his dad about muggings and what to do in case of a mugging. It wasn't bad, but to me, this was more of an example of the time period the book was written in again. Children's books are much more politically correct in today's world, being careful not to offend, and most likely, a child would not be allowed to go to Central Park, much less anywhere else in New York, without an adult. It didn't bother me, and I made sure to answer all my son's questions about mugging, reminding him of our conversation about strangers, and he seemed fine with it. I think it was a good pick for our current reading book, as my son has twin younger brothers the same age as Fudge, the little brother (or should I say brat) in the book.

As a kid I remember finding Fudge hilarious, and reading it again as a now parent, I noticed I didn't find Fudge's antics so funny as annoying and completely at the fault of the parents. Often thinking to myself, "Oh man, if that was my kid...no way I would let him get away with that...or make a separate meal just because he wouldn't eat..." But so it goes with parenting.

Overall, it was a great read, and even my 5-yr-old loved it. Perfect for spending some time with an older sibling who has the burden of bratty little siblings. Once again, Blume nails what it feels like to be a kid. I'd recommend anything by her.
Profile Image for Valerie.
242 reviews38 followers
July 29, 2020
OK so I'm a 17 year old girl and obviously this book isn't relatable to me anymore. But I was enjoying it, I really was. Solid 3 stars.
Until the last chapter.
Call me sensitive but I don't like the idea of an animal dying in such a cruel way. And it was presented as a joke. What made things even worse was that they just... replaced Dribble. No consequences for Fudge, no acknowledgment of Peter's loss. They just replaced him.
I don't know why but it made me really sad. Just to imagine that poor animal's suffering .... hard no.
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